Connecting former addicts to the users in need of help

Down a back alley in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov neighbourhood, a handful of men and women are ushered into a non-descript house filled with a row of wooden beds. Many appear nervous. A mother and child are asleep on one of the beds, where they will remain until the centre closes at 5pm. Inside, a fast-talking Khmer-American man, Vutthy, wipes sweat from his brow. He has just driven a man in on his motorbike from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital to fill his methadone prescription. The middle-aged Vutthy – who prefers to be identified by his first name only – is one of those running the drop-in centre today. It is managed by the non-governmental organisation Korsang, which was founded by an American deportee in 2004 to provide harm-reduction services like counseling and needle exchanges for people who inject drugs (PWIDs for short). Vutthy hops behind a desk to register the new arrivals, who are here for free HIV and syphilis blood tests, clean needles and a fresh toothbrush. “The pinprick results only take 10 minutes, but these guys, they get impatient, antsy.

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